Senators Markey, Carper, and Merkley Join Environmental and Climate Leaders to Oppose Trump Effort to Roll-back Auto Emissions Standards

Washington (March 7, 2017) – Reacting to media reports that the Trump administration plans to roll-back the nation’s fuel economy emissions standards for cars and light trucks for model years 2022-2025, Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), joined by Senators Tom Carper (D-Del.) and Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), and environmental and climate leaders, pledged to oppose efforts to dismantle the rules that are saving consumers money at the pump, reducing climate pollution and ensuring our energy security. The Obama administration’s historic 54.5 mpg standard was partially enabled by the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, which included fuel economy standards co-authored by Senator Markey when he was in the House of Representatives. Today, Senator Markey led a letter signed by eleven senators calling on the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) not to withdraw its Final Determination or reopen the its Midterm Evaluation of the emission standards for model years 2022-2025.

“President Trump is waging a war on the environment, and he wants EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt to make our strong fuel economy emissions standards his latest victim,” said Senator Markey. “Undoing the fuel efficiency standards would harm consumers, weaken our energy security, and increase global warming pollution. Strong fuel efficiency standards have put American consumers in the driver’s seat, and that’s where they should stay.”

“Time and time again, critics have told us that we have to choose between having a healthy, safe environment and a strong economy. Over the past eight years, we have proven that is a false choice,” said EPW Ranking Member Carper. “Smart fuel efficiency standards for the cars and trucks so many of us drive every day save consumers money at the pump, help stem the tide of climate change, reduce our dependence on foreign oil and spur job creation as automakers develop technology to power the cars of the future. Rolling back these standards, and the progress we have made, not only creates uncertainty for the auto industry going forward, but sends a signal to the rest of the world that addressing potent greenhouse gas emissions is not a priority for the United States. America has lead the world for centuries because, even when faced with challenges, we have set ambitious goals, we’ve innovated and we’ve emerged stronger as a result. Now is not the time to scrap forward-looking standards that keep us on the cutting edge and help us leave a better world for generations to come.”

“Donald Trump and Scott Pruitt want to pump the brakes on fuel efficiency standards, throw us into reverse, and recklessly roll back down the road we just came from,” said Senator Merkley.  “It’s bad for our economy, it’s bad for the environment, and it’s bad for middle class families.”

Dan Becker, Director, Safe Climate Campaign

“The automakers want the Trump administration to unravel the rules. If they succeed we’ll pay more at the pump, depend more on oil from bad countries and pollute our kids’ atmosphere. Automakers will jeopardize their record profits and sales achieved under the standards, and grow weaker by making too many gas guzzlers—the very course that led GM and Chrysler to bankruptcy and an $85 billion bailout in 2008.”

Ken Kimmell, President, Union of Concerned Scientists

“These science-based emissions standards are a remarkable success. They’re the reason America’s drivers are going farther on less gas, and they’re one of the most important policies we have to cut oil consumption and fight climate change. We cannot afford to go backwards.” 

Tiernan Sittenfeld, Senior Vice President, League of Conservation Voters

“These common-sense standards are doing exactly what they were designed to do: protect consumers, protect our health and climate, and reduce our oil consumption. Big oil companies may be breathing easier today, but that’s no comfort to the millions of drivers who will pay more at the gas pump or the tens of thousands of Americans whose asthma attacks will increase at the hands of Donald Trump and Scott Pruitt.”

Anna Aurilio, Legislative Director, Environment America

“America should be putting cars that burn too much gasoline in the rear-view mirror. Unfortunately, EPA’s potential action may be a green light to keep making cars that dirty our air, endanger our health and threaten our children’s future.”